Steve held my hand and offered a simple, profound prayer.
I thanked God for our perfect love.
Newly engaged, our 20-year-old hearts shared the deep conviction that our marriage would set new holiness records. We would pray together every day.
It didn't happen.
First, our inner clocks didn't mesh. A night owl, my medical student husband often studied until 2:00 a.m.
I, a working woman, lay legally dead at that hour. His attempts to raise me resulted in a rumble, not a resurrection.
As his schedule escalated, we saw each other mainly in our dreams. One rare evening we prayed together before supper. I left the table briefly and returned to find Steve face down in his spaghetti, snoring.
The next morning he didn't remember the prayer. I'm not sure he remembered me.
Steve graduated and practiced family medicine in a small town. Three children arrived. We joined a church and threw ourselves into committees, outreaches, and prayer meetings.
But we did not pray together.
When our kids put purple crayons into my dryer or flushed keys down the toilet, I learned Erma Bombeck's prayer: "God help you if you do that again!"—plus others, as my husband answered emergency calls and tore out of bed to deliver babies.
Consumed with family, patient, and church needs, we both learned to pray. A lot.
But not together.
What's the big deal?
In John 17:21, Jesus prayed his followers would be one, "just as you are in me and I am in you." He wanted Christians to experience the same spiritual intimacy he and God share.1